Retro Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Stockholm-Doha

Qatar Airways business class, Stockholm to Doha

Flight: QR92
Departure time in Stockholm (ARN): 10:20
Arrival time in Doha (DOH): 15:30
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 3J
Duration: 7h 10m
Date of flight: December 22, 2012
* Upgraded from economy to business class with Gold status, Business Class flight #5

Qatar Airways has been voted Airline of the Year for 2011 and 2012 at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, and to give you an idea on what to expect from this middle-eastern airline, I decided to write a report during my recent trip to Doha. And you bet I'm really excited about it.


I arrived at Arlanda Airport Terminal 5 about two and a half hours before the flight, and the check in counters were already opened. There were about five counters for passengers in economy class and one for those travelling in business class as well as those with Silver and Gold status. I have already checked in on line the day before so I just needed to leave my luggage. The check in agent was very helpful (she was probably a trainee since another agent was behind her and sort of guiding her) and after a few minutes, I had my luggage priority tagged, got my boarding cards, as well as the invitation card to the Menzies Executive Lounge which Qatar Airways is using. The security control was not busy yet, considering the time of the day, and after a couple of minutes, I was already on my way to the lounge.

Lounge invitation

Menzies Executive Lounge

A short visit to the Menzies Executive Lounge.

Aircraft, Airbus A330-200

Qatar Airways uses an Airbus 330-200 for their flights between Arlanda and Doha.

Boarding, Gate F66

About an hour before the flight, boarding was announced and I slowly made my way to Gate F66, which was a few minutes walk from the Menzies Executive Lounge, after the Passport Control. The business class queue was empty when I came, although there was a long queue for economy. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed for about 40 minutes. Departure time was supposed to be at 10:20 but it wasn't until 11:03 that the plane took off, probably due to bad weather. I never got to know the real reason for the delay though since no announcement was made. It was actually strange since I've been to a few Qatar Airways delayed flights before and announcements were always made informing the passengers of the reason of the delay.

After settling to our economy class seats, Mike and I were told that we had been upgraded to business class together with at least 2 other passengers. Yippee 😍

Business Class Cabin

The business class cabin is in a 2-2-2 configuration from rows 1-5 with a total of 30 seats.

Seat 3J

My new seat, 3J, was an aisle seat on the right hand side of the plane 😉 The aisle seat was ideal since I could easily go to the lavatory without troubling anybody, specially when the seat is in bed position.

Personal screen and magazine rack

Spacious legroom

Seat controls

IFE controller


Qatar Airways' entertainment system is called Oryx. The screen is big enough to compete with other airlines and the film selection was quite good. Among the films available were The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign, The Expandables 2 and Lawless.

Seat Recline

The seat reclines into bed mode but unlike Boeing's full flat beds that features 180 degrees recline (I was actually able to test it on the Bangkok to Doha flight two years ago) Airbus has lie-flat seats and features 165 degrees recline. For a flight under six hours, this could be quite acceptable. I'm 171 cm (5'7") so it was okay for me to stretch out all the way but I'm sure those who are much taller than me would have a hard time lying comfortably. Meanwhile, the cushioning is very good, and I was able to sleep for a couple of hours of the actual five and half hour flight.

Towel & Pre-departure Beverage

While waiting for take-off, the service started with a warm towel, an amenity kit and a drink. I ordered a glass of water.

Salvatore Ferragamo Amenity Kit

Qatar Airways' amenity kit is very nice, probably above business class standards. You get a bag with socks, eye shade, earplugs and a comb, and of course the Salvatore Ferragamo kit that contains Attimo 5ml Eau de Toilette, 10ml lip balm and a 20ml hand cream or refreshing water. The pajamas where the only ones missing but since it was a day flight, I didn't really expect for it.


I love the fact that Qatar Airways presents the menus in a nice brown leather folder since it is quite rare in business class. The menu read as follows:

main meal

tempting your palate:
smoked salmon rosti, sauce gribiche

to commence:
leek and potato soup, crispy leeks and bread sticks
an individual selection of smoked trout, salmon tartar and halibut artichoke salad
classic arabic mezze, hummus, tabouleh and makdous served with arabic bread

to follow: 
grilled sumac chicken with tomato and coriander salsa, onion, courgettes and grilled peppers with fennel side salad
dill marinated cray fish, steamed potatoes, butter beans and grilled carrots with potato and artichoke salad
aloo gobi with bhindi masala, onion rice, dal and raita

on the side: 
main dishes are accompanied by your choice of condiments

cheese plate: 
a selection of local and international varieties, dried prunes, apricots and hazelnuts

sweet finale: 
plum cake with mascarpone, vanilla cream sauce
chocolate, mint and vanilla ice cream with seasonal berries
selection of seasonal fresh fruits

bakery basket
rye bread with pumpkin seeds, brown roll with toasted sesame seeds,
crusty white and claystone roll

relax and unwind: 
cappuccino, espresso, café latte, macchiato, american, decaffeinated, earl grey, english breakfast, green, roasted japanese, moroccan mint, camomile, sencha green, green jasmine

afternoon tea

a sweet trio:     
chocolate florentines, passion fruit mousse, chocolate cake

relax and unwind:
cappuccino, espresso, café latte, macchiato, american, decaffeinated,etc.       

There is also a wide selection of wine that includes a French Chardonnay from Meursault (2007) and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough (2011) among the white wines. For the red wines, they have a Bordeaux wine (2007), a Shiraz from Australia (2008) and an Italian wine from Tuscany (2006). Plus the Bollinger Rose Champagne and the Billecart Salmon Brut, which are both French.

The alcoholic beverage list (pretty long list) include Martini Rosso, Martini Dry, Campari, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi, Smirnoff Red, JW Black, Glenfiddich Single Malt Solera 15 yrs old, Chivas Regal 12 yrs old, Jack Daniels, Bailey's, Tia Maria, Cointreau, Drambuie and Camus XO Superieur.

Soft drinks on the menu include Pepsi, Pepsi diet, 7UP, 7UP Free, Mirinda, Ginger Ale, Soda, Tonic while juices include Orange, Apple, Pineapple and Tomato Juices. Lastly, they have both sparkling mineral water and still mineral water plus for the beer-lovers, there's Crown Lager.

Moments after the seat belt sign was turned off, the flight attendant working on our aisle came around to take orders for lunch.

Smoked salmon rosti with gribiche sauce, a glass of apple juice.

After clearing my plate, the flight attendant started preparing my table. A white table cloth was placed on the tray table, followed by the bakery basket, butter, salt and pepper, bread plate and knife. Another flight attendant came with a bottle of mineral water and filled my glass. During the entire service, no trays were used, everything was served individually which is extremely rare in business class. Normally you can find this kind of service only in first class.

Among the three starters on the menu, I chose the selection of smoked trout, salmon tartar and halibut artichoke salad. I was glad I chose this instead of the Arabic one. Everything was just so tasty, not to mention that I am actually a seafood lover 😉

Then it was time for my main course. As you probably have guessed, I chose the dill marinated crayfish with steamed potatoes, buttered beans and grilled carrots. It was perfect 😋

Since I was already full after the main course, I decided to skip the plate of cheese and went straight for the dessert. And you bet, I enjoyed my chocolate, mint and vanilla ice cream with seasonal berries.

The lunch service ended with a box of Godiva chocolates and a warm towel. I saved the cup of tea for my later meal. I was feeling sleepy after having a very satisfying meal and decided to take a nap.


Airshow enroute to Doha with 1 hour and 45 minutes left before arrival in Doha.

 Afternoon Tea

A perfect afternoon tea...some sweets and a cup of green tea.


The lavatory looked clean and fresh. Hand cream and Eau de Toilette from Molton Brown are available, as well as toothbrush, toothpaste and shaving cream for personal use.


Qatar Airways is probably one of the best airlines offering business class: very good food and service. I would have hoped for a Boeing though since the Airbus they are using between Stockholm and Doha do not have fully flat beds. The announcement informing the passengers the cause of the delay, and making sure that the seats are well maintained and functioning would have made the whole experience almost perfect. I yet have to test other airlines' business class to see how they compare with Qatar Airways. I actually have a pretty good chance of testing two more airlines this spring so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Because the crew were actually serving meals individually without using trays nor trolleys; and the menus were presented on a nice leather folder; both of which are rare in business class, I probably would give Qatar Airways a 9 out of 10 points 😍